chapter  12
15 Pages

The Politics of Hope

Memory-Work as a Method to Study the Conduct of Everyday Life
With Frigga Haug

This chapter explores Gramsci's thoughts on how theoretical concepts relate to common sense and delineate the relation between theory and everyday understanding as a basic challenge in the study of the conduct of life and introduce memory-work as a possible approach to deal with it. In Selections from the Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci discusses the connection between common sense and science, critiquing an earlier author neglecting the relevance of theory: Gramsci's statement maintains the importance of understanding the everyday in theoretical terms in order to recognize how the everyday is actually lived in practice. When related to the narrator's self-construction, it then seems as if she constructs herself as devoid of interests. In methodological terms, memory-work is language analysis, examining the language people use as a medium of consent, participation and submission if people examine impersonal subjects or consider the construction of others, it might then become evident that a woman has constructed herself as powerless, weak or other-directed.